Writing to the Editor:

Dear Charles,

So you started a new paper. God knows that we need another one. I thought after viewing a copy or two that you might like a scriptural perspective from my neighborhood. I can think of no one in our "great" and vast brotherhood with my background or talent. So here am I...

I didn't know what to write about so I just waited a couple of days for some of those who appear to be "pillars" to react. They solved my problem for me. They pointed out that you have made a grave mistake by letting some people write under a pen name. Charles, I see the point and if you will give me but a moment I can show you the "error" of your ways...

First, how am I to know if a teaching is erroneous unless I know who the author is? Unless I have the name at the beginning or end of the article, how am I going to judge error? In 1 Pet. 3.21 I am taught that "Baptism doth NOW save us." But other preachers teach that "Baptism doth NOT save us." But when I saw the names of the preachers who taught that "Baptism doth NOW save us" I felt a sense of relief and became persuaded that Peter was right! To put it bluntly, Charles, I slept better! Now how could you begrudge me that???

Now Charles, your problem is simple. You need to get a "ruling" on Matthew 20:25-26. Is it NOT or NOW? Jesus taught that the Gentiles exercised authority and that it "shall NOT be so among you." I am sure that most brethren accept the idea that there is a difference in the words NOW and NOT. Can we settle which is which by observing what the leading preachers teach? Will they teach what the authoritative elders (who only rule in the realm of expediency) teach? Or would it be possible to settle this by the Bible?

So Charles, I am sure that you are beginning to see what a grave mistake you made when you began to allow people to write under pen names!

Where is your respect for authority?

Second, how can I know what the Bible teaches in the way of positive commands unless I know the name of the teacher? If the Apostles and Jesus were not always perfectly clear, then we need the help of our "great" and "good" scholars in our "great" and "good" brotherhood! Let me give you a "for instance." In Hebrews 13:17 we read "Obey them that have the rule over you." In this chapter we are told to remember, obey and salute THEM. Now to those who are not the initiated, this may seem puzzling. But not to those among us who have a "doctorate" in "THEM." Our "great" and "good" leaders have assured us for the last 50 years that the "THEM" is our CHURCH OF CHRIST ELDERS, and insist that this MUST be the meaning. (Charles, if you ever find anyone to prove it, let me know! If you even find anyone in the history of the church who has attempted to prove this, let me know.) Would our "great" and "good" brotherhood know this simple Biblical truth without a name placed at the beginning or end of the article or sermon??? Charles, I trust my instruction is sinking in quickly...

One more example. (If three will not get you to change your practice, nothing will, even if some "should arise from the dead!") "And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch." (Matt. 15:14). Now that says it all. If the blind leads the blind, the ditch awaits. Anyone who knows anything knows that what we need today is leaders. Right? I think not. In fact, the brethren have run surveys to prove that what we need today is leadership from the elders. According to their surveys, if John were writing to the churches of Asia today, he would inform them that the greatest need of the churches is "more and better elders!" With us "CHURCH OF CHRISTERS" today, Jesus is not good enough...They say we need LEADERS for our "great" and "good" brotherhood. Charles, what we need are FOLLOWERS... followers who have left all to FOLLOW HIM...

Where will all of this end? Must we become another denomination among denominations? Or is there another answer? There is an answer, Charles, and HE is CHRIST. If we can stop looking for "leaders" and humbly submit to the yoke of Christ we may yet become "fishers of men." Let us follow Christ to the foot of the cross and plead for mercy for we are sinners. We must remember that we are sons and daughters of God and we must learn obedience. Pray for each of us, Charles.

Sign me, Samuel O. Serious